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What John Calipari is telling players with looming NBA decisions

Now that the season is complete, a handful of Kentucky basketball players have an important decision to make. Will they return to Kentucky or test the NBA Draft waters?

On tonight’s call-in show, John Calipari said farewell to Reid Travis and P.J. Washington. “Then you got two or three or four guys that, okay, how do we do this?”

Calipari said each player will meet with the assistant coaches, then come to his office for individual meetings over the next two days. There are two different approaches to how each player’s decision will unfold.

“The one thing you gotta understand in this, if you make a decision based on, I just wanna go try it, then you’re not quite ready. If you don’t have the skillset yet, you don’t have a resume of what you do as a player, sometimes you’re one or two years from unemployment. That’s why when you go in that league you want to be ready,” he said.

“The second thing is, if you got off the court stuff going on, you’re not really mentally into this, you don’t need to walk into that man’s environment.”

Calipari will ask them what they’re thinking and he’ll provide feedback. If a kid wants to go, he’s not forcing them to stay.

“We always will roll with what they want to do.  There may be kids that I may say, ‘if I’m you, this is how I play this out.’ But at the end of the day I told them about this on the plane after, during the season it’s all about team. The minute the season’s over…now it’s about individual players.”

Above all else, Calipari wants each player leaving with lessons that will benefit them for the rest of their life.

“We want them all leaving this program with an unbelievable experience that they can draw on,” said Coach Cal. “Do we want them to leave with a national title? Yes we do. But leaving with that experience, leaving with an understanding of what commitment means — which will carry into their lives and everything they do — what a good teammate is, what a servant leader truly is, if they leave with those things, they’re going to have success in whatever they chose.”


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

68 Comments for What John Calipari is telling players with looming NBA decisions

  1. Glock
    7:54 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    Only PJ is a guaranteed career NBA player at this point. The others should look at the difference a year made for him.

  2. Blue Bill
    8:02 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    You’re aweful brave on your anonymous internet troll.

  3. Le Docteur
    8:03 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    …these comments are a Monty Python skit

  4. Larkin123
    8:04 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    Bill has blue balls? Go big blue!

  5. Larkin123
    8:04 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    Bill has blue balls? Go big blue!

  6. cking
    8:05 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    Time for Big ol pool to get the hell out of here.
    I’d like to see you try to smash my face

  7. cking
    8:06 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    Looks like the moderators got him

  8. cking
    8:06 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    Luether.. big ol blue had a real nasty comment..looks the moderators got him

  9. sprtphan
    8:07 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    You need to get out of basement more. But I guess your mom probably got the door locked.

  10. BBNallday
    8:12 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    We suck

  11. CatfaninCinci
    8:16 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    BigOlBlue/Mashburnfan/whatever else he goes by, always has to troll.

    • CATandMONKEY
      11:07 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Mash and BoB are two different people.

      Mash has been on here for years , generally used to just be a downer – Now he has his tongue firmly and sycophantically implanted up Coach K’s backside.

    • catsarerunnin
      9:37 am April 2, 2019 Permalink

      I’ve been here for years too but I don’t remember him/it being here. I have been saying this year they are all Slater. If not they are all the same regardless. I put them all in the same cesspool.

  12. catfanincentralfl
    8:21 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    Reid, PJ, and Tyler are gone. Everyone else is back for another run at number 9.

  13. makebasketballplays
    8:25 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    I just don’t think we were very good this year. Going to be worse next year!

    • Cokely53
      9:23 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Yeah one of the top 8 teams in the regular season and tourney but hey we suck right?

    • JT55
      9:51 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

      I disagree about this year. However, next year could be rough. No true big guys that are SEC ready. I’m holding out some hope for E.J but they need more big guys that can contribute.

    • CATandMONKEY
      11:08 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

      30 wins.

      The mentally deficient are out in force tonight

    • catsarerunnin
      9:40 am April 2, 2019 Permalink

      Making the elite 8 every year even if we suck sounds good to me catwithaverylongname.

  14. catfanincentralfl
    8:25 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    Why can’t I see comments I post?

  15. mashman 93
    8:35 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    I hope Herro comes back.

  16. friendsofcoal
    8:37 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    RT, PJ, and KJ are gone.

  17. KYJelly
    8:54 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    Sounds like he’s alluding more to people not being ready than the norm. The “off the court” comment and the “I just wanna try it” sounds like reasons people shouldn’t go. I’ve not really heard Cal talk post-season decisions before with the focus on “why to return”

    • a21CATSfan
      11:04 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

      He’s specifically talking to Junior Nick Richards. CATS

    • makeitstop
      11:05 am April 2, 2019 Permalink

      He is encouraging people to stay… first time I’ve seen that.

  18. maildad
    8:55 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    I’d say Keldon and herro would be better off coming back and playing into a better position for next years draft but I doubt it happens. Hoping herro stays the most.

    Hagans would be retarded to go but crazier things have happened at uk. Not sure how him IQ maxey baker and herro if he stays all share the time next year.

    • cmipkyfans
      2:40 am April 2, 2019 Permalink

      Please use a different word than the Rword. Really??

  19. sickofit1996
    8:58 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    Honestly who cares who leaves. It’ll be the same story next year! Big time recruiting class……..followed by a loss in the tournament and underachieving. Tired of the excuses #sickofit

    • AirForceOne
      9:10 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Then by all means, please go be a fan of another team…we sure as Hell don’t need your negative attitude here. Perhaps you will fit better at Alabama or Georgia.

    • sickofit1996
      9:14 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Maybe I should they’re extremely high expectations are actually met in their respected sports they are good at…………..Alabama never goes out with the number one class over and over again and not make the playoffs in football. So why is it okay for cal to do it in basketball? Tired of the excuses #sickofit

    • JT919
      9:24 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Please consider not getting so mad about a sport you don’t play.

    • bigblue98
      9:37 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

      You’re correct. There’s absolutely no difference between football and basketball. The football teams at Bama are juniors and seniors, with some younger guys mixed in. #getaclue

    • Cokely53
      7:10 am April 2, 2019 Permalink

      Another troll being a troll people. Not an actual UK fan. Move along.

    • mashburnfan1
      9:28 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Actually not, if we get 4 of them back, and I really don’t see how any other than PJ can think they are ready, it would give us some great experience. Yea we would not have that SR but have 4 or so SO would be huge IF some of the FR are as good as advertised. We had a similar team this year to the 2012 team as far as veteran leaders mixed with FR, the difference none of the FR were great, had 1 or 2 been great we probably win. Is why dUKe lost, they had the 2 great FR but not the veteran leadership to guide and steady them. Ifeither Zion or RJ is here with our group we win it all, also if PJ and Reid {maybe just PJ} are at dUKe they win it all. The FR will make those FR mistakes in those pressure situations. Look at both UK and dUKe, squeaked by the 2 previous teams before losing. If that was regular season and no pressure {tourney loss is season over} we beat Wofford and Houston by 20 and dUKe does the same to UCF and 12 or so to Va Tech.{although they were missing Cam and we were without PJ in one of those games} It takes a mix, FR only teams can’t win a title, from Fab 5, to RJ and Zion it has not and will not happen. If Herro, Quickley, Johnson and Hagans come back we could be awesome, gotta figure Nick and EJ are here. If the FR can just be very good the year could be special, just not sure these guys do come back, maybe PJ can talk to them and convince them to stay.

    • sickofit1996
      9:36 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Mashburn pal, I think you’re point is about as dumb as they come. Yes if you combine two elite 8 teams best players I think they win the title just about every year………….

    • dcsports22
      10:21 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

      I’m just guessing here, and I don’t mean to pigeon hole anyone just based on one comment but let me take a guess. I bet you are just a naturally positive person. Someone with a positive attitude that everybody just wants to be around. Am I right? If you aren’t happy with the results of the last 10 years as a Kentucky fan, you might need some help.

    • catsarerunnin
      9:42 am April 2, 2019 Permalink

      Bashburn has terminal PMS.

    • cwillis
      10:59 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

      I’ll take this than the last years of Tubby, the years with Gillespie any day

    • CATandMONKEY
      11:12 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

      You have been summarily dismissed in several other threads.

      If an acorn possessed a brain you would be envious of its intelligence

    • sickofit1996
      11:27 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Cat and monkey………wild your name is two things you never get

  20. Numberniner
    9:08 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    Cal should be yelling, look at PJ!!! Come back and add another zero to your contracts!!!

  21. Miller45
    9:45 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    Im not sure in the long term how much an extra year of college ball can affect overall decelopment and progression but Marquis teague, doron lamb, james young, Tyler ulis, the twins all jumped ship too early and IMO have paid for doing so. Once that decision is made its irreversible.

  22. JT55
    9:55 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    Next year is going to be a battle. There are going to be major holes.

  23. RAGE
    10:22 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    I don’t honestly see next year as being all horrible… If we can keep some players from this team… We may not have a true big man but hey maybe we just pick up the tempo… Press and force a quicker tempo… I honestly feel like that is how Cal prefers to coach any way and just had to adjust to his personnel and do what’s best for each team… But playing fast covers many holes and I only hope we can develop a more consistent shooting cause I really feel that our offense has let us down the past couple of seasons…

  24. guus
    10:32 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    Just because a player can go, doesn’t mean they should go…many Cal players are evidence of just that. Imagine Pj’s draft stock if he’d stay another year, or two!! There’s always injury, potential obstacles, etc…but might as well make sure you’re the absolute best version of yourself before entering the league..look at all the Cal players who went in early and have played in the G league for their nba entirety. I’m just being selfish, I get so emotionaly invested in Ky bball, lol I justwant these kids to stay and keep winning.

  25. Game Changer
    11:35 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    For one second think if these guys were your family members… what would you tell them?

    -PJ has to go now… at his peak

    -Herro… can’t go any higher than 20s, which is where he is right now

    -Keldon Johnson- the longer he stays in college the more he’ll be exposed, he should run to the NBA

    -Ashton Hagans- Next year there will be too much competition at guard… no reason to stay as he is like the twins, he can only climb so much in college.

    -Nick Richards- definitely needs to stay… if he makes a WCS improvement he could easily be a lottery pick after next year

    -EJ Montgomery- I am afraid he is gone, but he is the one who would gain the most by staying one more year… lots of potential to be great both in college and pros… needs to bulk up and gain confidence.

    -IQ- definitely needs to come back and possibly stay 2 more years.

    -Jemarl Baker- unfortunately wouldn’t even get drafted to the Uzbakistan league of goat herders

    Did I leave anyone out? I think miracles could happen and the only player that I think should go that may come back is Herro… and the only player that definitely should stay but might go is EJ Montgomery.

  26. Glock
    12:11 am April 2, 2019 Permalink

    Cal should study that transfer portal and fill out the roster to the MAXIMUM allowed scholarships. Kind of dumb to have 10 players when you are allowed 13 (15)??

    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      7:32 am April 2, 2019 Permalink

      I agree with this. It is my only complaint of Cal. Im sure he doesn’t like to take guys who for sure won’t play, but we have got to have depth. Some years we think we have depth and still don’t…like this year.

  27. friendsofcoal
    12:17 am April 2, 2019 Permalink

    After looking up a few recent mock drafts I can see us losing KJ, PJ, Herro, and of course Reid. Returning will be Hagans, EJ, Nick, and Baker. We really need to land Hurt badly! Hurt, Maxey, Whitney, Allen, and maybe the grad transfer that was mentioned will make a nice solid team.

  28. friendsofcoal
    12:18 am April 2, 2019 Permalink

    Oh and IQ…forgot about him. He’s a solid 3-4 year player!

  29. friendsofcoal
    12:32 am April 2, 2019 Permalink

    Also forgot about Brooks. We’ll have a solid group with a shot at it which is all we can ask for.

  30. T-Rox
    1:21 am April 2, 2019 Permalink

    If a NBA GM is dumb enough to draft Hagans, he should lose his job! The kid needs to mature so much, he was so uninterested, so much of the time. Never looked like he wanted to be there, maybe something was going on in his personal life, and that’s what Cal was alluding to, but he hasn’t showed up since the Georgia game beginning of January

    • Big Meech
      7:45 am April 2, 2019 Permalink

      I agree that he shouldn’t be drafted but how do u figure he didn’t want to be there. U know the kid personally… maybe it’s bc he is supposed to be playing high school ball still. I agree he needs to stay but pg is the hardest position for a young guy. Give him a chance

  31. CahillsCrossingNT
    5:31 am April 2, 2019 Permalink

    Next year at this time people will be on this board speculating again about who should stay or go. This will be after another missed Final Four appearance as well.

    • Soylentbeans
      6:40 am April 2, 2019 Permalink

      What is the winning lottery numbers for Wednesday 04/03/2019?

  32. makeitstop
    8:11 am April 2, 2019 Permalink

    The mock drafts are all over the map this year outside the top 10-12. I looked at several yesterday, and even PJ was high in some, missing in others. Hagans showed up at 30 in one, somewhere in the 40’s in others and not on other boards. Herro, too was high, near lottery in one or two, and missing from others. It’s the combine. Remember there are really 3 categories: Gone; Exploring; Staying. U only get to explore without an agent once, and I can’t remember what Nick did last year but I don’t think he even went, which means he should go this year to explore and not hire an agent. PJ will hire an agent and is Gone. Keldon appears high in some, lower in other mock drafts but I could see him hiring an agent. Reid clearly gets an agent. Herro, Hagans and maybe EJ explore the waters without an agent and it’s all about what they hear there that determines what they do. The early feedback from scouts is Herro would benefit from another year. Personally I can’t see Hagans getting drafted but he faces a Quade choice: return and fight for time w Maxey or go to the G-League bc he won’t make a roster for awhile, he got picked clean by smaller, older college guards, Bone, Waters, Harper, etc… but he showed up against the well regarded White of UNC. Most worried the scouts see EJ at the combine and fall in Love w him again. Bc he is a guy u want back. Just my read of a lot of tea leaves but it’s all up to the combine feedback.

  33. Heavy C
    10:41 am April 2, 2019 Permalink

    You can bet the bank thats wtong because Keldon is gone. He’s projected higher in most mock drafts that P.J. Tyler is a question, but based on out history he’s probably gone also.

  34. tgenardi55
    2:47 pm April 2, 2019 Permalink

    PJ, Tyler, and Kendon all listed in top 20 of the draft! I’d go